Dan Choi: “Do You Have What It Takes?”

by Danielle V Hemsley, MS  Statistics

Dan Choi Discussing Branding with Students

How do you set yourself apart from all the other MBAs and land the job that gives you the best opportunity in the future?  This is a big question on the minds of many students.  Dan Choi, Managing Director of Credit Suisse, helps you discover your personal answer to this question in his 4-week workshop, Defining Your Success: Do You Have What It Takes?, hosted by J. McLoughlin of the Executives on Campus (EOC) Program and Eugenia Liakaris of the Graduate Career Management Center (GCMC).

The workshop does not begin with the typical “you are special because you are one of the few people who gave up your Friday afternoon to be here.” Dan does not try to sugar coat things; he tells it how it is.  Dan Choi is REAL and gives you real advice about the job market and real world that exists post-graduation.   He tells you that it is an extremely small percent of people who will make it to the top of the corporate ladder.  Dan offers concrete advice and skills on what you can do to increase your chances of being one of the few.  In the third week of the workshop Dan presents on “climbing the corporate ladder,” where he emphasizes the importance of not only upward promotions but of lateral promotions.  We also discuss the different types of companies and how to find the work environment that is best for you. 

He challenged participants to take a deep look into their selves and answer core personality questions.  These lead you on how to successfully brand the true you.  One of the biggest points he made was “Don’t sell yourself as Sprite if you are really Pepsi.”  In other words, be true to yourself and always present the true YOU.

There are specific exercises Dan gives students in order to foster the start of this deep self-discovery. He teaches participants about the different styles of interviewing and then practices interviews one-on-one with students.  Dan encourages students to remember that they are each, unique individuals and to allow their extra-curricular activities, favorite pastimes, and personalities shine at interviews.

MBA student, and 2012 President of ZWIB, Tina Dong, referred to the opportunity to learn from Dan Choi as being “a real treat!”

I had the pleasure, along with 10 other Zicklin Graduate Students, of benefiting from this extremely informative workshop.  I consider my attendance at this workshop to have been, priceless!  I encourage all Zicklin students to take advantage of this opportunity next time it is offered.

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